Bitcoin Korea

[sc:cm]

Looks like in Korea, Seoul has the highest density of places taking Bitcoins, with Gangnam having quite a bit.

Gangnam:

Rental
Hair Salon

Incheon Dong

Paris Baguette (Hey I think there’s a few of this franchise in Singapore too! 1, 2, and one in tampines too I think) (it went to WSJ, cryptocoinnews and china news)

Apparently, a facebook post has “a statement from Korea’s National Tax Service stating that Koreans will not be taxed for capital gains on bitcoin for the time being” (compare this with Singapore’s bitcoin tax position)

I think for overseas exchanges, Kraken has operations there.

gangnambitcoinrental

http://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/1ug8em/building_rent_paid_with_bitcoin_in_korea/

A building rental for payment with bitcoins, and its QR code, its powered by coinplug, which had previously gotten $400,000 in funding.

Reddit comments

[–]Clever_Unused_Name 3 points ago

One of the Paris Baguettes in Ichon-dong accepts bitcoin as well.

[–]jinwoonlee 1 point ago

I wish places in Busan would start taking bitcoin.

 

Aha Busan is an awesome place!

Gangnam (the area of Gangnam style fame) even has a hair salon taking bitcoins now!

Coindesk on the Gangnam Bitcoin hair salon

http://www.coindesk.com/gangnam-hair-salon-style-barnet-bitcoin/

Their head of marketing, Lee Kyung Won, told a local blogger he hoped that bitcoin would “attract trend-setters who are the kind of people we are looking for as customers”.

The blogger, Kim Dong-Hyun, appears to have been their first bitcoin-paying customer on 2nd January. It’s not clear what treatment the self-described “office worker in his mid-30s” had, but he’s confident bitcoin would permeate South Korean society quickly if merchants began to accept it. “Koreans are very sensitive to IT trends,” he wrote.

According to coinmap.org, Seoul currently has seven bitcoin-accepting businesses, including a baguette shop and a service that lets you load up a pre-paid VISA card with bitcoin.

With Beauty Salon began accepting bitcoin on 30th December 2013 after the head of marketing raised the idea. He was apparently less optimistic about how many of his customers would actually end up using bitcoin, saying that the payment option would be most useful for foreigners staying in country.

Wall Street Journal

http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2013/12/03/bitcoin-changes-hands-in-south-korea/

 

Bitcoin Changes Hands In South Korea

At the bakery, Kim Dong-hyun paid 0.006444 Bitcoin which corresponds to 7,500 Korean won.
Courtesy of Kim Dong-hyun

Bitcoin will get you bread in South Korea, thanks to a bakery in Incheon that took the landmark step of allowing customers to pay with the world’s most common virtual currency.

Lee Jong-soo, who runs Paris Baguette, a franchise bakery, said the first transaction involving the virtual money happened early Tuesday morning. As of mid-Tuesday, three more people had purchased bread using Bitcoin.

Mr. Lee said the idea of embracing the virtual currency came during a family dinner with his two grown-up sons a month ago. His younger son, who studied finance in the U.S., brought up the issue and suggested the bakery accept Bitcoin as a payment method. The elder son, a software developer, quickly developed an app that automatically calculates the exchange rate of Korean won to Bitcoin.

“The subject was completely new to me but I thought why not?” said Mr. Lee. While he thinks highly of the investment value of Bitcoin, he doesn’t expect the actual number of customers who pay with the virtual currency to soar any time soon.

Kim Dong-hyun, the first user of Bitcoin at the bakery, thinks differently.

“I think it will spread very quickly like smartphones did a few years ago if more and more Korea merchants introduce it,” said Mr. Kim. “Koreans are very sensitive to IT trends.” The office worker in his mid-30s arrived around 5:30 am at the bakery Tuesday morning to experiment with the virtual currency before he traveled back to Seoul to go to work.

In the past few months, Mr. Kim has spent around $50,000 to stuff his electronic wallet with the virtual money as part of long-term investment. And the investment turned out to be quite successful: the total value almost doubled.

Reuters

“I believe Bitcoin has a potential to eventually replace the U.S. dollar,” he said. “You don’t have to worry about inflation and transaction or exchange charges are nothing compared to other traditional methods of payments.”

Bitcoin, the four-year-old virtual money that has recently created global buzz, is still largely unknown in Korea, one of the most wired economies.

But usage has been slowly picking up steam since last month, according to Korbit, an online Bitcoin exchange site for Korean users.

Tony Young-Suk Lyu, co-founder of Korbit, said there are around 8,000 registered members and the volume of daily transactions amounts to $300,000.

Many Korean users, he said, believe Bitcoin could work as a new type of financial platform and “are interested to see how this virtual currency can change the way the society functions.”

Last month, Bitcoin grabbed international headlines when U.S. authorities acknowledged the benefits of the digital forms of money at the first-ever congressional hearing on virtual currencies. The total value of Bitcoin soared to $8 billion in market capitalization on the news.

In a letter to U.S. senators, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke also said virtual currencies “may hold long-term promise, particularly if the innovations promote a faster, more secure, and more efficient payment system.”

But there are worries that its anonymity and the fact that it isn’t controlled by a central bank could be abused by criminal hands in shady economic activities.

http://www.cryptocoinsnews.com/2013/12/04/korean-bakery-paris-baguette-incheon-south-korea-accepting-bitcoins/

Bitcoin is changing hands in South Korea, according to a featured article by Wall Street Journal’s blog.

Paris Baguette in Incheon, South Korea is the first bakery, and one of the first brick and mortar businesses,  in that geographical area to publicize accepting Bitcoin.

In the few weeks since the bakery in Incheon has accepted Bitcoin, their first Bitcoin paying customer had this to say:

“I think it will spread very quickly like smartphones did a few years ago if more and more Korea merchants introduce it,” said Mr. Kim. “Koreans are very sensitive to IT trends.” The office worker in his mid-30s arrived around 5:30 am at the bakery Tuesday morning to experiment with the virtual currency before he traveled back to Seoul to go to work.

Paris Baguette is a franchise operated bakery that has locations around the world and is a very popular spot if instagram and pintrest pictures are any indicator.  What this means is that the big name company Paris Baguette has not chosen to accept Bitcoin at all their franchise locations yet; rather, a single brave individual has chosen to accept Bitcoin, in Korea no less.  This situation is similar to the slew of Subways around the world that are accepting Bitcoin.  Currently you can buy a sub with Bitcoin in Moscow, Russia; Allentown, Pennsylvania; and soon Los Angeles, California!  Arguably, Bitcoin fever has hit Korea a little bit late but their nascent Bitcoin economy now features exchanges, and this bakery to buy bread.

 

Coindesk on Coinplug

http://www.coindesk.com/coinplug-korea-wallet-seed-round/

Korean Startup Coinplug Raises $400,000, Half in Bitcoin, Half in Fiat

(@joonian) | Published on November 23, 2013 at 15:50 GMT | News, Startups, Wallets

Korean startup Coinplug has closed an investment round paid partly in bitcoin.

Coinplug raised $400,000 from Cupertino-based fund SilverBlue, with half the amount raised in bitcoin and the rest in fiat currency. The startup plans to launch a digital currency exchange, wallet and merchant platform in Korea in mid-December.

“It’s SilverBlue’s first investment,” said SilverBlue managing director Richard Yun. “In Korea, people take to new technologies really quickly, so I think [bitcoin usage] is going to boom in Korea, like China.”

According to Yun, who has a board seat at Coinplug and will serve as interim finance director, the investment will be used to develop a trading and merchant platform on the web and across multiple mobile operating systems.

Coinplug is expected to launch on 17th December and has 15 engineers on its team, which is spread across Korea and Silicon Valley. Yun claims Coinplug will provide “financial institution-level security” to its users.

Korea is a relatively undeveloped bitcoin market so, if it makes its launch date, Coinplug will be the country’s first end-to-end platform, similar to Coinbase, providing everything from an exchange to wallet and merchant services. According to Yun, interest in bitcoin in Korea is growing, but pent-up demand isn’t easily satisfied by existing international exchanges like Coinbase. The legal status of bitcoin exchanges in Korea is ambiguous at the moment. He added:

“Bitcoin is prime news in Korea now, but we need to educate people about it. They really want to buy.”

Coinplug won’t be the first Korean bitcoin exchange. A fixed-price exchange has been operating since 2012 by a company called Bitcoin Korea and another exchange called Korbit was launched this year. Yun is confident that Coinplug will beat the incumbents.

“People can compare [our competitors’] size to our size when we launch. We have good technologists and we have the funds,” he said.

CoinPlug and Silverblue’s founders have a long history. Coinplug’s founder and CEO is Ryan JoonSun Uhr, who founded mobile location-based services firm Celizion in Korea in 2002. He was also chief technology officer at Exio Communications, a San Jose wireless technology firm that was acquired by Cisco Systems for $165m, according to Yun, in 2000. Exio’s founder, Ki Hyun Joo, is SilverBlue’s chief executive. Both men, and Yun, worked at Cisco Systems for several years.

BTC China Bitcoin Exchange

Asian bitcoin exchanges have been in the news recently. The BTC China exchange, for example, became the world’s largest exchange by trading volume last month, surpassing Japan’s Mt. Gox. The Chinese exchange also raised $5m in funding this month. GoCoin, a payment processor headquartered in Singapore, also announced a seed round of $550,000 this month. Owen Van Natta, a former Facebook chief operating officer, was a noted participant in the round.

Investors are rushing to fund bitcoin exchanges. Venture firms pumped an unprecedented $9m in funding into Boston-based Circle at the end of last month. The investors included Jim Breyer, Accel Partners and General Catalyst Partners. Circle’s founder is Jeremy Allaire, who previously helped create the web development language ColdFusion.

Other exchanges that have raised significant sums include Coinbase, with $6.88m to date and BitPay, which has raised $2.51m.

 

Coindesk on Uturn

http://www.coindesk.com/bitcoin-awareness-south-korea-central-bank/

Bitcoin Awareness Grows in South Korea After Central Bank U-turn

(@southtopia) | Published on December 6, 2013 at 13:50 GMT | Asia, Exchanges, News, Regulation

Asia’s reputation as an international hotspot for bitcoin news is growing.

While China’s central bank caused a major stir with yesterday’s statement on digital currencies, South Korea’s central bank, the Bank of Korea (BOK), this week provided statements of caution and optimism.

The BOK released a report on bitcoin on 3rd December, according to BusinessKorea, which pondered the measures required to “open the virtual currency to the public”. It may not sound like much, but the BOK had previously ruled out any possibility that bitcoin could become a regular currency.

However, this report did counter this idea with a more pessimistic view of bitcoin’s ability to go mainstream.

In the complex and multi-faceted world of government, any sign of leeway on digital currencies is more welcome than a rush to block or ban them outright.

Bitcoin’s usefulness

In Korea, as with several other countries, it may be up to the business community and general public to demonstrate bitcoin’s usefulness first. BusinessKorea reported bakery chain Paris Baguette’s recent move to become the first physical store in the country to accept bitcoin.

Similar to neighbouring Japan, none of the world’s major payment processors work smoothly with Korean bank accounts and there are no local competitors.

The owner of the Paris Baguette bakery in Incheon City, Lee Jong-soo, is using a smartphone-based payment app developed by his son Lee Jin-woo. He says he became interested in bitcoin after an introduction from his other son, Lee Chan-woo, who had studied finance in the US.

Apparently only a handful of customers have asked to pay with bitcoin since he set up the system, indicating the bitcoin community will need to engage in more promotional activity to help him spread the word.

Local traders

Often, though, it’s cutting-edge local traders like Lee who communicate most effectively by demonstrating a daily use case to other curious businesses. Additionally, it’s small businesses who feel the pinch of bank processing fees and credit card chargebacks hardest.

Kevin Lee is a Seoul-based bitcoin entrepreneur and CEO of BitcoinKorea, South Korea’s first bitcoin business and portal. He has traveled around Asia attending bitcoin-related conferences and meetups, and wants to be instrumental in promoting its use in his native land.

He thinks South Korea’s need for digital currency options are similar to China’s: a way to diversify investments and find a way around capital controls. He explained:

“Most Koreans are interested in bitcoin for investment purposes. They do not care about the central bank of Korea’s policy. The Korean government will follow the international trend of bitcoin.”

“The Korean government is strict on sending dollars from the country, since Korea is always short of dollars,” Lee added.

Lee, a friend of Asia-based bitcoin missionary Roger Ver, said the pair will tour South Korea from 8th to 23rd January to spread the word – talking to major news organisations and helping to introduce Kraken, an exchange that launched in the country just last Friday.

KRW Exchanges

Kraken has Korean as a language option and allows deposits and withdrawals in South Korea’s local currency, won (KRW). It is open to users both inside and outside South Korea.

With Kraken’s launch there are now four bitcoin exchanges in Korea, the others being: Korbit, BitUP and ddengle. Lee reveals that more will be coming soon.

Ddengle is also South Korea’s primary bitcoin user forum, with about 7,800 visitors per day. The platform has plans to introduce litecoin trading in future.

Bitcoin’s price in KRW was generally higher than the rest of the world, Lee added, presenting an arbitrage opportunity for anyone with using Korean exchanges.

Seoul image via Shutterstock

Bitcoinbabble

http://bitcoinbabble.com/?p=192

Korea Announces Favorable Tax Policy for BTC

The bitcoin community in Korea is small, but growing, and it seems that governments around the world are taking the US Senate’s recent hearings as a signal to begin determining at least temporary policies regarding our favorite cryptocurrency.

Posted in Korea’s Bitcoin Community on Facebook is a statement from Korea’s National Tax Service stating that Koreans will not be taxed for capital gains on bitcoin for the time being.

While this is clearly good news for the few long-time miners in Korea as well as speculators that have experienced a windfall in the past month, it is important to remember that this is not a good long-term position toward bitcoin. Essentially, the Korean government is taking the stance that bitcoin investments are not real.

Currently, bitcoiners are happier to be left alone by the governments of the world and such a policy supports this in the long term. But if we hope to see bitcoin rise to a more commonly-accepted and competitive currency, we will need governments to recognize that BTC does, in fact, bear value and follow “safe and sane” regulatory procedures. While this is not the time to hold the argument over how much and what kind of regulation would be appropriate and positive, I think that most bitcoiners will agree that we don’t want it to be seen as monopoly money forever. Near-universal recognition and respect is needed.

Korean startup Coinplug has closed an investment round paid partly in bitcoin.

Coinplug raised $400,000 from Cupertino-based fund SilverBlue, with half the amount raised in bitcoin and the rest in fiat currency. The startup plans to launch a digital currency exchange, wallet and merchant platform in Korea in mid-December.

“It’s SilverBlue’s first investment,” said SilverBlue managing director Richard Yun. “In Korea, people take to new technologies really quickly, so I think [bitcoin usage] is going to boom in Korea, like China.”

According to Yun, who has a board seat at Coinplug and will serve as interim finance director, the investment will be used to develop a trading and merchant platform on the web and across multiple mobile operating systems.

Coinplug is expected to launch on 17th December and has 15 engineers on its team, which is spread across Korea and Silicon Valley. Yun claims Coinplug will provide “financial institution-level security” to its users.

Korea is a relatively undeveloped bitcoin market so, if it makes its launch date, Coinplug will be the country’s first end-to-end platform, similar to Coinbase, providing everything from an exchange to wallet and merchant services. According to Yun, interest in bitcoin in Korea is growing, but pent-up demand isn’t easily satisfied by existing international exchanges like Coinbase. The legal status of bitcoin exchanges in Korea is ambiguous at the moment. He added:

“Bitcoin is prime news in Korea now, but we need to educate people about it. They really want to buy.”

Coinplug won’t be the first Korean bitcoin exchange. A fixed-price exchange has been operating since 2012 by a company called Bitcoin Korea and another exchange called Korbit was launched this year. Yun is confident that Coinplug will beat the incumbents.

“People can compare [our competitors’] size to our size when we launch. We have good technologists and we have the funds,” he said.

CoinPlug and Silverblue’s founders have a long history. Coinplug’s founder and CEO is Ryan JoonSun Uhr, who founded mobile location-based services firm Celizion in Korea in 2002. He was also chief technology officer at Exio Communications, a San Jose wireless technology firm that was acquired by Cisco Systems for $165m, according to Yun, in 2000. Exio’s founder, Ki Hyun Joo, is SilverBlue’s chief executive. Both men, and Yun, worked at Cisco Systems for several years.

BTC China Bitcoin Exchange

Asian bitcoin exchanges have been in the news recently. The BTC China exchange, for example, became the world’s largest exchange by trading volume last month, surpassing Japan’s Mt. Gox. The Chinese exchange also raised $5m in funding this month. GoCoin, a payment processor headquartered in Singapore, also announced a seed round of $550,000 this month. Owen Van Natta, a former Facebook chief operating officer, was a noted participant in the round.

Investors are rushing to fund bitcoin exchanges. Venture firms pumped an unprecedented $9m in funding into Boston-based Circle at the end of last month. The investors included Jim Breyer, Accel Partners and General Catalyst Partners. Circle’s founder is Jeremy Allaire, who previously helped create the web development language ColdFusion.

Other exchanges that have raised significant sums include Coinbase, with $6.88m to date and BitPay, which has raised $2.51m.

[sc:prepost]

Related Posts

Bitcoin startups Coinplug, Korbit in Techinasia South Korea writeup

China taking Bitcoin on a dive again makes WSJ MoneyBeat BitBeat

Coffee Sedona at Coex Mall in Seoul (Bitcoin Korea)

Bitcoin Startup Investments

36% of web traffic is fake: WSJ

Bitcoin in Financial News roundup, April Open

Korea gets First Bitcoin ATM!

Doge Feb Roundup

About admin

Flipping Virtual Hamburgers

3 Comments Already

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Litecoin: LLnSyo8rqbJng11b3whVUXSr6nWMtmT1zU
Bitcoin: 158MikZVM8yQviLcvxu1aahTysSxDUaePr
Dogecoin: DRCm4QFStzSKRsPMk6EE1VCJGE78BGZWnn